Detroit Pistons Coach Dreams: Dwane Casey

Essentials

Age: 54

Current Job: Assistant coach, Dallas Mavericks (2008-present)

Previous experience:

  • Head Coach, Minnesota Timberwolves (2005-07)
  • Assistant Coach, Seattle Supersonics (1994-2005)

Pros

Casey has long been one of the most well-respected assistant coaches in the NBA. He’s mentioned as a candidate for virtually every current opening in the league. He’s worked with successful NBA coaches Rick Carlisle and Nate McMillan. When he coached in Japan, he worked with legendary coach Pete Newell.

He was briefly the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they fired him 40 games into his second season. That was a terrible team, but Casey had them 20-20 and competing for a playoff spot in the West. The team won just 12 games after he was fired.

Cons

Casey has some head-coaching experience, but he’s still not a household name. After hiring two straight coaches whose knock has been lacking experience in the head-coaching spot, I would guess candidates who have coached longer than Casey has will get first priority.

There were also rumors that part of the reason Minnesota let Casey go was because he and Kevin Garnett weren’t on the same page. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — I’d argue it’s a good thing, actually, to have a coach unafraid of holding star players accountable — but after communication issues have been the downfall of two straight coaches in Detroit, it’s likely candidates’ philosophy on building relationships with players will be a major topic in interviews.

Verdict

Casey is the assistant at the top of everyone’s list just about every offseason, it seems, and he’s still only had one brief opportunity to prove himself as a head coach. The Mavs are still playing may also hurt his chances if the Pistons want to fill the vacancy quickly

Previously

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